Old-school country father-daughter dance songs?
July 17, 2013 7:04 PM   Subscribe

What are the good old-school country songs I can two-step to with my dad at my upcoming wedding? Looking for stuff along the lines of the old country royalty - Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, etc.

A handful of guidelines:
-it cannot make us cry (and we are both inveterate crybabies, so the bar here is pretty high)
-it has to be two-steppable
-really old-style country - I wouldn't even look at Hank Jr., much less Hank III
-I have little tolerance for schmaltz or things that are lyrically really on-the-nose (nothing corny about fathers and daughters or anything eye-rolly)
-And no love songs, because gross.

Super extra bonus points for anything lively by Willie Nelson, but right now I'm turning up a bunch of awesomely sad stuff.

Current backup options, just for context/taste, are slow ones: Willie Nelson's version of "Rainbow Connection" or maybe Johnny Cash's cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water", but both of these just straight up violate my rule above about not making us cry, so I'm really hoping there's something better.
posted by catesbie to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Pancho & Lefty as performed by Willie Nelson (and Merle Haggard)? You don't mention whether or not you're looking for a slow song, so it may be too up-tempo. Not sad or schmaltzy at all, though.
posted by jquinby at 7:08 PM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, what about I Still Miss Someone by Dolly Parton?
posted by jquinby at 7:14 PM on July 17, 2013

Response by poster: Oh, up-tempo's great! I mean, I'd dance to These Boots Are Made for Walking if I thought we could get away with it or it was, like, even remotely appropriate. Would way prefer fun up-tempo song than spin-slowly-in-a-circle junior-high style one. (Though my backup options are very much that - hence quest to find something more fun.)
posted by catesbie at 7:30 PM on July 17, 2013

Response by poster: Okay, not to threadsit here, but...useful information: Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" would be PERFECT. Except that the dad dies. So, not ideal.
posted by catesbie at 8:21 PM on July 17, 2013

Faron Young - If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')
posted by hydrophonic at 8:40 PM on July 17, 2013

Best answer: Johnny Cash - Remember Me (I'm the One Who Loves You)
posted by MsMolly at 9:22 PM on July 17, 2013

Bugtussle Saturday Night by Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys might be a bit too fast (it's been a few years since I two-stepped). They are modern but have a good twangy sound and it's an instrumental so no one dies at the end.
posted by Beti at 10:22 PM on July 17, 2013

Best answer: The Willie Nelson version of Stay All Night!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 10:27 PM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Willie does You Are My Sunshine...that would be uptempo and fun. I don't have a link but easy to find.
posted by third rail at 11:38 PM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: No schmaltz, no love, and no sad … country music? Hmmmmmmm

How about some Buck?

Buck Owens — Sam's Place
Buck Owens — Think of Me (maybe too sad or too much of a love song?)

Buck is great, though, and you may find the right lyrical tone in his oeuvre.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:15 AM on July 18, 2013

Merle Haggard — Daddy Frank (maybe to weird for a wedding!)
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:20 AM on July 18, 2013

Okay one more:

Webb Pierce — Honky Tonk Song
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:27 AM on July 18, 2013

Southern Nights by Glen Campbell (still too modern?)
I Believe in Love by Don Williams (about love but to me it doesn't sound like a Luuve Song)
Louisiana Saturday Night by Don Williams (There are also versions by Mel McDaniel and Dolly Parton & Doug Kershaw on YouTube)
posted by Beti at 1:27 AM on July 18, 2013

How about John Prine?

Spanish Pipedream
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:36 AM on July 18, 2013

Willie Nelson - Songbird (Originally by Fleetwood Mac)

For you, there'll be no more crying,
For you, the sun will be shining,
And I feel that when I'm with you,
It's alright, I know it's right

To you, I'll give the world
To you, I'll never be cold
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you,
It's alright, I know it's right.

And the songbirds are singing,
Like they know the score,
And I love you, I love you, I love you,
Like never before.
posted by 256 at 7:41 AM on July 18, 2013

Oh, and I know it's a "love song" in that it uses the words "I love you," but the song can just as easily (perhaps more easily!) be understood as being about familial love as romantic love.
posted by 256 at 7:45 AM on July 18, 2013

Response by poster: Oh man, you guys are All Kinds of Awesome. So many good options here. Will take a long look at these and have a chat with the pops and let you know what we go with. (Thanks especially for Buck Owens, which is exactly the right sort of thing but whom I would not have remembered to look at, and Willie's "Stay All Night", which I hadn't heard before and which the dad would be totally into.)

There is a not-inconsiderable amount of feminist squick I have around all of these wedding traditions, so the more I can just have a fun dance with my dad and not feel like I'm being traded for cattle, the happier everyone will be. Thanks again!
posted by catesbie at 8:30 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Final update from the OP:
A final update now that I'm almost 6 years married: we went with MsMolly's advice of Johnny Cash's "Remember Me," and it was perfect. Now that my dad is beginning the long slow slide into Alzheimer's, I think this will be one of the moments I remember forever and ever about him.

I went recently to MeMail MsMolly to tell her this and learned that she had passed away. I'm sad I didn't get the chance to tell her directly how perfect her suggestion was.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:23 AM on June 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

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